The ITTF Group, the Chinese Table Tennis Association (CTTA) and the city of Chengdu have unveiled the dates of the 2022 World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals. The event will take place from Sunday 17 to Tuesday 26 April 2022.
ITTF President Petra Sörling commented, “I am delighted to confirm the 2022 World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals will be held in April in Chengdu. In these times of uncertainty, we are grateful to our hosts, who have taken every necessary measure to ensure the successful delivery of our marquee event. The table tennis family is looking forward to a full year of table tennis action after a successful end of 2021 that heralded the international restart of the sport.”
This will be the first time Chengdu is hosting a World Table Tennis Championships event and marks the first time since 2008 that China is playing host to a team championships event.
Liu Guoliang, ITTF Executive Vice President and CTTA President, added, “The World Table Tennis Championship is the most important ITTF event of the year, as well as one of the most highly anticipated events by fans worldwide. The event is a two-way promotion for table tennis competitions and for the city of Chengdu. Chengdu has plenty of experience hosting table tennis events, having successfully held the ITTF Men’s and Women’s World Cup and Chengdu Open. We believe the city will once again boost the popularity of table tennis globally at this year’s World Table Tennis Championships.”
The 40 best men’s and women’s teams will be vying for a medal in the new Chengdu High-tech Sports Centre – a modern, comprehensive, multi-functional, premium and large-scale gymnasium built last year. Each qualified team can send five players. The participants will stay in two hotels located near the competition venue.
The 2022 World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals Preparatory Committee has worked on an extensive set of COVID-19 countermeasures to ensure all participants arrive smoothly, participate securely, and return safely. The event will be put under strict closed-loop management in a bubble format. Moreover, the Chengdu entry and exit authorities will assist with visa processing and provide other border facilitation.
“We are very confident in the preparations of Chengdu for our World Championships,” said Steve Dainton, ITTF Group CEO. “We are working closely with them on all the precautionary measures to ensure the safe delivery of the event. I am looking forward to an extraordinary event in the beautiful capital of Sichuan Province.”
With the 2020 World Team Table Tennis Championships Finals in Busan cancelled, it has been four years since the team event was last held. Halmstad, Sweden, hosted the 2018 edition; the Chinese teams took gold in the men’s and women’s events. It was also the stage of a landmark moment of the Ping Pong Diplomacy. North Korea and South Korea decided to form a unified Korean Women Team, which clinched bronze (watch the documentary here).
The Ping Pong Diplomacy programme aims to build diplomatic and friendly relations between nations and people and bring peace around the tables. It started at the 1971 World Championships, where table tennis played a pivotal role in re-establishing ties between China and the United States in one of the most significant diplomatic breakthroughs of the century.
Precisely 50 years after table tennis started building bridges between the two countries, the American city of Houston successfully hosted the 2021 World Table Tennis Championships and passed the baton to Chengdu, the next host city, marking a new chapter of the Ping Pong Diplomacy. Ping Pong Diplomacy will also be the theme of this year’s World Table Tennis Day, celebrated on 6 April, just days before the opening of the world championships.